Five days after a federal high court in Lagos passed a judgement directing the Lagos State government from collecting tolls on Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge, the latter is yet to carry out the court order. The continuation collection of tolls on the bridge has attracted reactions from residents who described government’s action as sheer contempt of court.
In an interview with TELL, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a lawyer and human rights activist, berated the state government for what he described as “crass display of anarchism and lawlessness.” Adegboruwa, who dragged the state to court over the toll collection, stressed that the state has neither appealed against the judgment which nullified the toll fee nor is there any stay of action on the judgement that would warrant the state to defy the order. “The continued collection of the toll fee is contempt of the authority and powers of the court,’ the lawyer said.
Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP, a non-governmental organization, also believes that the state government is setting a wrong precedence by disobeying the court order. Chino Obiagwu, the group’s national coordinator, who said in a statement that “the primary condition of constitutional democracy is that judgments and orders of court must be complied with by all persons concerned, including the government,” regrets that the Lagos State government, could “flagrantly disobey court order.” To ensure that the state is made compelled to obey the court judgement, LEDAP has urged Adegboruwa to return to the court to commence contempt proceedings against the concerned officials, the governor and the attorney general of the state.
The judgment voiding toll collection on the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge was delivered on March 27 by Justice Saliu Saidu in a case filed by Adegboruwa and which has the attorney general of the federation, the national Inland Waterways authority and Lagos State Government as defendants.